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Kenneth Albert Vercammen

Kenneth Vercammen’s Answers

162 total


  • I got 3 tickets and is worrying how to respond

    I was driving on 73 in a 50 mph zone. The police pulled me over and took my license. I wasn't able to provide the car registration and insurance paper as it was mistakenly kept in home. After checking my license he told me that my license is revok...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Few courts and attorneys are aware of the provisions of NJAC 11:3-34, which allows insurance companies to charge additional surcharges to drivers who drive while suspended. These insurance company surcharges are in addition to MVC surcharges and fines. For Driving While Suspended pursuant to 2C N.J.R. 576 a driver is given 9 Automobile Eligibility Points. There are two types of license suspension:
    1. Court imposed suspension 2. Administrative / MVC suspension The most common scenario reflects where that the client, through a motor vehicle violation, failure to pay a surcharge or accumulated points have been placed on a suspended list maintained by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles (MVC), thereby making them ineligible to operate a motor vehicle for a prescribed period of time in this state. If the client is aware that they are on the suspended list and acknowledged to the police officer that they were suspended, there is little room for creative legal defenses. The lawyer in this case would most likely discuss how to mitigate penalties or negotiate a plea bargain. However, more often than not the attorney will be confronted by the client who claims that they were unaware of their placement on the suspension list. The scenario that will often be presented by the client is that he/she was stopped by police for an unrelated motor vehicle violation. In the process of the police encounter they were informed by the officer that their license has been suspended and they were issued an additional summons for DWS.
    THE STATE MAY BE UNABLE TO SHOW DUE PROCESS AND ADEQUATE NOTICE The Prosecutor should be required to show adequate notice of the suspension. In Parsekian v. Cresse 75 N.J. Super. 405 (App Div. 1962), the court ruled that it was incumbent upon the Director of the State Division of Motor Vehicles (now MVC) to provide fair and adequate notice to the licensed driver of the proposed suspension of their license. The court recognized that the Director could not arbitrarily suspend the license of a driver without providing both notice and enunciating specific reasons as to why the license was being suspended. A later case, State v. Wenof 102 N.J. Super. (Law Div. 1968), both reinforced and advanced the earlier Parsekian decision.
    Wenof represents the substantive foundation upon which all subsequent cases involving the notice issue have been based. In Wenof, the court again recognized the importance of adequate notice of suspension. The court related, "There is always a risk that notice may not reach the intended person, but this is not the test for legal sufficiency. The test is rather, whether the notice was reasonably calculated to reach the intended parties." Id at 375. In Wenof, the MVC sent to a written notice of proposed suspension (for failure to satisfy a summons) by regular mail. The MVC thereafter sent an order of suspension by ordinary mail. The notices were mailed to the defendant's last address. By failing to leave a forwarding address informing the MVC where he could be reached by mail, the court stated "he should not be heard to complain of lack of due process, He had it." The court found the defendant guilty. In State v. Ferrier 294 NJ Super. 198 (App. Div. 1996) a defendant attacked the validity of a suspension four months earlier. A two judge panel rejected the challenged to a DWS and held that “An order of suspension by the Director is a decision by a state administrative agency which may only be challenged directly in the Appellate Division after all administrative remedies have been exhausted. R. 2:2-3(a)(2); Pascucci v. Vagott 71 N.J. 40, 53 (1976). Jurisdiction to consider an attack on a final decision of a state administrative agency is vested exclusively in the Appellate Division by way of appeal; the Law Division may not entertain such a challenge. State v. Doe 165 N.J. Super 392, 400 (App. Div. 1979). To the extent that State v. Wenof, 102 N.J. Super 370,

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  • I received a speeding ticket, on gsp north 80 in a 55. What are my options.

    Can NOT have anymore points.

    Kenneth’s Answer

    The landmark case on Laser speeding tickets is In the Matter of the Admissibility of Motor Vehicle Speed Readings Produced by the LTI Marksman 20-20 Laser Speed Detection System 314 N.J. Super. 233, 714 A.2d 381; (Law Div. 1998) aff’d 326 N.J. Super. 110. (App. Div 1999)

    The Law Division held admissibility of such readings shall be subject to the rules set forth below:

    1. Expert testimony in support of admissibility shall not be required, except as specifically set forth below.

    2. Appropriate training of the law enforcement officer operating the laser speed detector shall be shown in each case.

    3. Pre-operational checking procedures recommended by the manufacturer of the laser speed detector shall be shown to have been made in each case.

    4. Speed measurements shall be admitted whether made in daylight or at night and within any temperature range likely to be found in New Jersey, even if made under conditions of light or moderately heavy rainfall, but speed measurements taken during heavy rain or while snow is falling shall not be admitted without the support of adequate expert testimony in the individual case.

    5. Speed measurements made at any distance up to 1,000 feet shall be admitted, but measurements made at any distance in excess of 1,000 feet shall be admitted only with the support of adequate expert testimony in the individual case.

    This case was affirmed State v. Abeskaron (In re Admissibility Hearing of the LTI Marksman 20-20 Laser Speed Detection Sys.), 326 N.J. Super. 110. November 24, 1999

    In State v. Dantonio, 18 N.J. 570 (1955), the N.J. Supreme Court held there can be variation in the Speed measuring device.
    State v. Readding, 169 N.J. Super. 238 (Law Div. 1978) restated the general rule that in order for the speed measuring device speedometer reading to be admissible into evidence, it should be established that: (1) the device is scientifically reliable; (2) the particular speedometer used in the case being tried is accurate; (3) the operator is qualified; and (4) the device was operated properly in the case being tried.

    Radar emits a beam anywhere from 50 to 320 feet, which makes it impossible to select or focus on one particular traffic vehicle at any significant distance. No police traffic radar is lane sensitive. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "Basic Training Program in RADAR and Measurement -- Trainee Instruction Manual (1983) p 3-4
    According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "Basic Training Program in RADAR and Measurement -- Trainee Instruction Manual (1983)"The N.H.T.S.A. Id. at 3-11 to 3-12 :

    An improperly high RADAR target display can result due to the angular effect through conditions that exist naturally or are created by an officer.
    It is critical that the officer know how to avoid these situations when possible and, when they are unavoidable, to recognize that a speed displayed is artificially high.
    Certain unavoidable road conditions can result in the RADAR making it seem that the patrol car is traveling more slowly than it actually is. If a less- than-true patrol speed measurement is taken by the RADAR, (this) will produce an incorrectly high target speed.
    The target speed displayed to the operator would be 5 mph higher than the target's true speed. Any enforcement action taken due to this displayed speed would, of course, be improper. In State v. Wojtkowiak, 170 N.J. Super. 44 (Law Div. 1979), rev'd on other grounds, 174 N.J. Super. 460, Id. at 3-15

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  • Can I fight a reckless driving ticket as a result of an accident?

    I braked to avoid hitting a car at least 50 feet ahead of me this morning, but since it was moderately raining, my car started slipping. I was in the middle lane, and I swerved to the left onto the grass. My car kept slipping on the grass and hi...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    read 39:4-96. Reckless driving; punishment

    39:4-96. A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and be punished by imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for a period of not more than 60 days, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $200.00, or both.

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  • My son got a nuisance ticket in ship bottom nj 8.20.80 but there is no such code and we were informed it should be 8.20.20

    does this invalidate the ticket. also they are telling us its mandatory court appearance but the box is not checked. We live 11 hours away, anyway around this? (he got caught jumping from the bridge into the water and is 18)

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Often not cost effective to spend $3,000 to have a trial.
    an attorney speaker wrote:
    File motion to dismiss under Rule 7:8-5.....Ordinances have a presumption of validity & constitutionality that you must overcome.Review the following cases:

    State v. Clarksburg Inn
    375 N.J.Super. 624, 868 A.2d 1120
    N.J.Super.A.D.,2005.

    State v. Friedman
    304 N.J.Super. 1, 697 A.2d 94

    State v. Powell
    250 N.J.Super. 1, 593 A.2d 342

    Downs Ford, Inc. v. Dover Tp.
    230 N.J.Super. 623, 554 A.2d 882
    N.J.Super.Ch.,1989.

    State v. Cameron
    100 N.J. 586, 498 A.2d 1217

    State v. Holland
    132 N.J.Super. 17, 331 A.2d 626

    State v. Palendrano
    120 N.J.Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747

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  • Time allowed between arrest and grand jury indictment.

    Hello My brother was arrested on Dec 2 2014 for questionable photos on his computer as well as assaulting an officer during the arrest, both of which he is pleading not guilty to. The felony arrest was made during a warranted search of his home i...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    In a DWI case, State v. Farrell NJ Super (App. Div 1999) a DWI conviction was reversed and case dismissed based on speedy trial violation. The court held: "Excessive delay in completing a prosecution can potentially violate a defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial as a matter of fundamental fairness, apart from whether double jeopardy standards have been contravened. Id. at 354-55. In cases arising from municipal court DWI prosecutions, just as with criminal prosecutions, consideration whether the right to a speedy trial has been violated is guided by the four factors announced in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530, 92 S. Ct. 2182, 2192, 33 L. Ed.2d 101, 117-18 (1972). Gallegan, supra, [117 NJ 345, 1989] 117 N.J. at 355; State v. Prickett, 240 N.J. Super. 139, 143 (App. Div. 1990)." Farrell, supra.
    Specifically, the court must engage in a multi-element balancing process of the four factors: the length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, whether the defendant asserted his right to speedy trial, and any prejudice to the defendant occasioned by the delay. Gallegan, supra, 117 N.J. at 355; State v. Marcus, 294 N.J. Super. 267, 293 (App. Div. 1996), certif. denied, 157 N.J. 543 (1997). State v Farrell NJ supra.
    Delay caused or requested by the defendant is not considered to weigh in favor of finding a speedy trial violation. Gallegan, supra, 117 N.J. at 355; Marcus, supra, 294 N.J. Super. at 293. Further, because the evaluative process involves a balancing of considerations, if the other factors weigh heavily enough, a speedy trial violation can be established without an affirmative showing of prejudice to the defendant. See State v. Smith, 131 N.J. Super. 354, 368 n.2 (App. Div. 1974), aff'd o.b., 70 N.J. 213 (1976).
    In a related vein, the defendant's demonstration of prejudice is not strictly limited to a "lessened ability to defend on the merits." Ibid. Rather, prejudice can be found from a variety of factors including "employment interruptions, public obloquy, anxieties concerning the continued and unresolved prosecution, the drain on finances, and the like." Ibid. (citing Moore v. Arizona, 414 U.S. 25, 94 S. Ct. 188, 38 L. Ed.2d 183 (1973)), cited by State v Farrell, supra.
    The New Jersey judiciary is, as a matter of policy, committed to the quick and thorough resolution of DWI cases. In 1984, Chief Justice Wilentz issued a directive, later echoed in Municipal Court Bulletin letters from the Administrative Office of the Courts, that municipal courts should attempt to dispose of DWI cases within sixty days. See State v. Fox, 249 N.J. Super. 521, 523 & n.1 (Law Div. 1991); State v. Perkins, 219 N.J. Super. 121, 124 (Law Div. 1987).
    In Perkins, supra, defendant was charged with DWI on October 10, 1986, following a car accident in which only he was injured. 219 N.J. Super. at 122. Defendant first appeared in municipal court on December 4, 1986, but the State was not prepared to proceed and sought a continuance. Id. at 123. The trial was reset for January 8, 1987, and the municipal court judge stated that defendant would be entitled to a dismissal if the State was not ready to prosecute. Ibid. Nevertheless, even though the State was not prepared on January 8 due to a change of prosecutor and subpoena problems, the municipal court denied defendant's motion to dismiss. Perkins at 123-24.
    On appeal, in Perkins the Law Division dismissed the complaint against defendant. Id. at 124. After first noting the Supreme Court's sixty-day directive, the judge stressed that the municipal court had promised that the case would be tried or dismissed on that date. Id. at 124-25. He stated that "[a] court's promise is sacrosanct" and must be honored. Id. at 125.

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  • I was curious why is the terroristic threats charge showing up as threatens violence in probation?

    Is it avoid stigma?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    2C:12-3. Terroristic threats a. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
    b. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to kill another with purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out

    Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
    1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
    2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
    a. You will have a criminal record
    b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
    c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
    3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
    4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
    5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
    6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
    7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
    8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
    9. You could be put on Probation.
    10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
    11. You may be required to do Community Service.
    12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
    13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
    14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
    15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
    16. You may lose your right to vote.
    The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
    Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
    If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
    NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
    (2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
    (3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
    (4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

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  • Why is my background check from potential employer NOT showing my arrest or conviction from 2011?

    I was originally arrested for Theft By Deception 3rd degree but it was downgraded to Disorderly Conduct-Theft by Deception Misdemeanor. I have had difficulty getting a job. I had an interview w/ a large retail company & was hired pending backgroun...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    How to get a background criminal history and fingerprinted in NJ
    Persons seeking an Expungement or to determine all prior charges should obtain a CCH– Criminal History

    Instructions For Obtaining Your Criminal History Record
    An individual may obtain a criminal history record check via electronic live scan at one of the approved sites. The New Jersey State Police uses the live scan fingerprinting services provided by Morpho Trak, Inc., a private company under contract with the State of New Jersey. In order to be fingerprinted for one of the purposes listed above, you are required to contact Morpho Trak to schedule a time and place to have your fingerprints recorded. The quickest and easiest way to schedule your appointment is via the Web at www.bioapplicant.com/nj. Web scheduling is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Applicants who do not have Web access should call Morpho Trak at the company’s toll-free telephone number, 1-877-503-5981 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). See also http://www.state.nj.us/oag/ca/lgccc/chbc_instruct.pdf
    You must download the appropriate Universal Form and bring this form with you to your scheduled fingerprint appointment. In addition to this form, you must bring proper identification as outlined on the form. The home address that you fill out on the attached form should be the same as the home address printed on the identification that you provide to Morpho Trak Inc. YOUR ADDRESS MUST BE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE IN ORDER TO PROPERLY MAIL BACK THE RESULTS OF YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECK. To ensure accuracy, please legibly complete blocks #9 thru #26 on the front of this form prior to scheduling your appointment.
    The fee for this service is $41.00. Acceptable methods of payment are credit card, electronic debt check or money order. At the time of scheduling your appointment, payment will be required and charged to your account. Appointments must be canceled by noon on the business day prior to your scheduled time (you must cancel by Saturday at noon for a Monday appointment). If you fail to cancel your scheduled appointment, you will forfeit the $11.00 portion of your fingerprint fee that is payable to Morpho Trak. You will also forfeit the $11.00 fee if you fail to bring the Universal Fingerprint Form and proper ID when having your fingerprints scanned.
    Failure to utilize the Universal Form for its intended purpose and/or failing to provide complete and accurate information may result in having to be fingerprinted again and incurring additional costs. Questions or revisions to responses must be made within a ninety-day period or the full process will have to be completed again. If you do not receive your response within 10 working days please contact the Criminal Information Unit.
    Any questions regarding the use of this form can be directed to the New Jersey State Police, Criminal Information Unit at 609 882-2000 ext. 2918
    Out Of State Residents Requesting A New Jersey Fingerprint Based Criminal Background Check:
    If you need a background check within the state of New Jersey but are no longer a resident, please call the Division of State Police, Criminal Information Unit, (609) 882-2000 Ext. 2918. They will supply you with a package, including a fingerprint card and full instructions.

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  • Nj license holder, clean record, got pulled over for doing 84mph in a 65 mph on i390 NY state

    On our way to buffalo, in wayland NY, cop pulled me over for doing 84 in 65 mph zone. I have a clean record. He did not give me a ticket. Instead gave me a letter to mail to the court in wayland and they will decide my fine. It says I can plead gu...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Points in Motor Vehicle Violations
    Motor vehicle violations and criminal charges can cost you. If you plead guilty by mail or in court for almost all traffic tickets, you will have to pay fines in court and will later receive points on your driver’s license. Both the DMV/MVC and your car insurance company will impose surcharges and eligibility points for three years.

    Compiled by the Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen
    N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.1 Point Assessment
    Any person who is convicted of any of the following offenses, including offenses committed while operating a motorized bicycle, shall be assessed points for each conviction in accordance with the following schedule:

    N.J.S.A. Statutory Violation Description Points
    39:5D-4 Moving violation out-of-state 2
    39:4-14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on restricted highway 2
    39:4-14.3d More than 1 person on a motorized bicycle. 2
    39:4-35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk. 2
    39:4-36 Failure to yield to pedestrian or passing a vehicle yielding to
    pedestrian in crosswalk 2
    39:4-41 Driving through safety zone. 2
    39:4-52, Racing on Highway 5
    39:4-55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves 2
    39:4-57 Failure to observe directions of officer. 2
    39:4-66 Failure to stop before crossing sidewalk 2
    39:4-66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or
    leaving highway 2
    39:4-66.2 Driving on private property to avoid traffic signal or stop sign 2
    39:4-71 Improper driving on sidewalk 2
    39:4-80 Failure to obey direction of officer 2
    39:4-81 Failure to observe traffic signal 2
    39:4-82 Failure to keep right 2
    39:4-82.1 Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider 2
    39:4-83 Failure to keep right at intersection 2
    39:4-84 Failure to pass right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction 5
    39:4-85 Improper passing on right or off roadway 4
    39:4-85.1 Wrong way on one-way street 2
    39:4-86 Improper passing, in "No Passing" zone 4
    39:4-87 Failure to yield to overtake vehicle 2
    39:4-88 Failure to observe traffic lanes 2
    39:4-89 Tailgating 5
    39:4-90 Failure to yield at intersection 2
    39:4-90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highway 2
    39:4-91, Failure to yield to emergency vehicle 2
    39:4-96 Reckless driving 5
    39:4-97 Careless driving 2
    39:4-97a Destruction of agricultural or recreation

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  • How do I find out about an arrest warrant? I'm told I have one but I have no knowledge of the charges.

    I'm trying to obtain access to a military base for work and they denied me saying I have an active arrest warrant. They won't tell me where its out of and I MUST resolve this asap!

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Bail
    A bail filing fee of $50.00 is required when bail is posted regardless of the type of bail required. Bail monies may be refunded by the Finance Division after the defendant is: 1) sentenced; 2) completed Pre-Trial Intervention; or 3) the case is dismissed. Failure to appear for any scheduled court appearances will result in a bench warrant being issued for the defendant’s arrest and the forfeiture of bail.

    Rule 3:9-1. If defendant does not appear for If a defendant does not appear for a conference, a bench warrant may be issued

    Rule 3:9-1. Prearraignment Conference; Meet and Confer; Plea Offer; Arraignment/Status Conference; Pretrial Hearings; Pretrial Conference
    (a) Prearraignment Conference. After an indictment has been returned, or an indictment sealed pursuant to R. 3:6-8 has been unsealed, a copy of the indictment, together with the discovery provided for in R. 3:13-3(b)(1) for each defendant named therein, shall be either delivered to the criminal division manager's office, or be available through the prosecutor's office, within seven days of the return or unsealing of the indictment. After the return or unsealing of the indictment the defendant shall be notified in writing by the criminal division manager's office to appear for a pre arraignment conference which shall occur within 21 days of indictment. At the pre arraignment conference the defendant shall be: informed of the charges; notified in writing of the date, place and time for the arraignment/status conference; and, if the defendant so requests, be allowed to apply for pretrial intervention. The criminal division manager's office shall not otherwise advise the defendant regarding the case. The criminal division manager's office shall ascertain whether the defendant is represented by counsel and, if not, whether the defendant can afford counsel. If indicated that the defendant cannot afford counsel, the defendant shall be required to fill out the Uniform Defendant Intake Report. If a defendant does not appear for a conference, the criminal division manager shall notify the criminal presiding judge who may issue a bench warrant. No conference shall be required where the defendant has counsel and the criminal division manager's office has established to its satisfaction: (1) that an appearance has been filed under Rule 3:8-1; (2) that if the defendant is represented by the public defender discovery has been obtained, or if the defendant has retained private counsel, discovery has been requested pursuant to R. 3:13-3(b)(1), or counsel has affirmatively stated that discovery will not be requested, and (3) that defendant and counsel have obtained a date, place and time for the arraignment/status conference.

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  • I was arrested for shoplifting yesterday for the amount of $130, is there a way to get the case dismissed?

    I made an appointment to speak with a private defense attorney but I dont have the money to actually hire him, is there way for me to get the charges dismissed on my own or to waive the public defender fee, as I have no money

    Kenneth’s Answer

    The state must prove the Defendant had the “knowing” intent to commit a criminal act in a shoplifting case.
    The defendant was not aware that there was a criminal act being committed.
    NJSA 2C: 4-2. Evidence of mental disease or defect admissible when relevant to element of the offense.

    Evidence that the defendant suffered from a mental disease or defect is admissible whenever it is relevant to prove that the defendant did not have a state of mind, which is an element of the offense. In the absence of such evidence, it may be presumed that the defendant had no mental disease or defect, which would negate a state of mind, which is an element of the offense.

    The NJ Model Jury charges set forth the elements of SHOPLIFTING [CONCEALMENT]
    (N.J.S.A. 2C: 20-11b(2))

    The statute provides in pertinent part that it is a crime for:
    any person purposely to conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
    In order for the finder of fact to find the defendant guilty of shoplifting, the State must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
    1. that defendant purposely concealed upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by (name of commercial establishment);
    2. that (name of commercial establishment) was a store or other retail mercantile establishment; and
    3. that defendant did so with the purpose of depriving the merchant of the processes, use, or benefit of such merchandise [OR of converting such merchandise to his/her use] without paying the merchant the value thereof.

    The first element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant purposely concealed upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail establishment. The term “conceal” means to conceal merchandise so that, although there may be some notice of its presence, it is not visible through ordinary observation.1 The term “merchandise” means any goods, chattels, foodstuffs or wares of any type and description, regardless of the value thereof.2
    A person acts purposely with respect to the nature of his or her conduct or a result of his conduct if it is the person's conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result. That is, a person acts purposely if he or she means to act in a certain way or to cause a certain result. A person acts purposely with respect to attendant circumstances if the person is aware of the existence of such circumstances or believes or hopes that they exist.3
    1 N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11a(6).
    2 N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11a(3).
    3 N.J.S.A. 2C:2-2(b)(1).
    Purpose is a state of mind. A state of mind is rarely susceptible of direct proof, but must ordinarily be inferred from the facts. Therefore, it is not necessary that the State produce witnesses to testify that an accused said he/she had a certain state of mind when he/she engaged in a particular act. It is within the fact finder’s power to find that such proof has been furnished beyond a reasonable doubt by inference, which may arise from the nature of his/her acts and his/her conduct, and from all he/she said and did at the particular time and place, and from all of the surrounding circumstances.

    …..
    The third element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant acted with the purpose of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise [OR converting such merchandise to his/her use] without paying the merchant the value of the merchandise.

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